ECB financial supervisor job likely to go to a woman
Daniele Nouy of the Bank of France is the leading candidate ahead of today’s application deadline
Daniele Nouy has worked at the Bank of France since 1974, was elected in 2006 as president of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors -- the predecessor of the European Banking Authority -- and is currently the secretary-general of the French Prudential Control Supervisory Authority. Photographer: Mark H. Milstein/ Bloomberg News.
Last-minute resumes sent to Mario Draghi for the European Central Bank’s new financial supervisor job are unlikely to feature many men. Ten months after Yves Mersch joined the ECB’s board in the wake of an outcry that its top management would become an all- male club, the next senior appointment needs to be a woman, said four euro-zone central bank officials.
The leading candidate is Daniele Nouy of the Bank of France, with resumes to manage the repair job on the euro region’s crisis-ravaged financial system and supervise its 130 biggest lenders set to arrive at the ECB president’s Frankfurt office with postmarks of no later than today. With memories of last year’s gender tussle coloring the race, European Parliament lawmakers say they’re ready for another clash if they don’t get their way.
“It’s almost a certainty that if a very good woman is put forward, all else being equal, the parliament will choose her,” said Sharon Bowles, chairwoman of the parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, who led protests over Mersch’s appointment last year and expects to scrutinise the ECB’s selection. “There are several in France, so we’re not short, and there are some in other countries.”
The ECB’s September 27th ad for the position of chair of the supervisory board called for candidates with “outstanding expertise in the supervision of financial institutions and the regulation of financial markets.”
Officials including Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker previously identified Nouy, 63, as a leading candidate. She has worked at the Bank of France since 1974, was elected in 2006 as president of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors -- the predecessor of the European Banking Authority -- and is currently the secretary-general of the French Prudential Control Supervisory Authority. Nouy is “an obvious choice, and it suits their gender balance issue,” said Karel Lannoo, an analyst at the Centre for European Policy Studies, a Brussels-based research group. “Now that Janet Yellen’s been appointed to the Fed they will feel themselves even more stimulated to have much more of a gender balance.”
Yellen this month won the race to replace Ben S Bernanke, becoming the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve. Other women appointed to top central bank jobs this year include Elvira Nabiullina, who was named in June as Russia’s central bank chief. Yesterday, acting Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug was nominated for its top position.
Nouy may not face competition for the ECB job from two possible German rivals. Bundesbank vice president Sabine Lautenschlaeger, whom ECB board member Peter Praet said a year ago that he holds “in very high regard” for the role, won’t be available, according to a person with knowledge of her plans. Elke Koenig, who leads the regulator, Bafin, is unavailable, two people with knowledge of her plans said.
Even so, other candidates could emerge. All European Union citizens are eligible to apply, opening the race to possible contenders from non-euro area countries, such as Swedish Riksbank deputy governor Kerstin af Jochnick or Ingrid Bonde, the former chief of the country’s regulator. A Swede could offer the aura of a country with a well-capitalised banking system, untainted by association to any particular euro-area national interest when called upon to act as an umpire. “There’s a lot of rummaging around in the supervisory authorities to find suitable candidates,” Bowles said. “Obviously we are not going to have an all-woman shortlist -- well I doubt it -- although it would be interesting if we did.”